10 Wordless Stories to Read Together

I have to admit, picture books have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  I know this is not the case for everyone — my husband prefers a lengthy, picture-less tome to a storybook.  But one of the many things I enjoy about reading to my kids is that their books contain pictures.  Sometimes the story is ALL PICTURES with hardly a word in sight.  Wordless books offer a visually stimulating story opening a child’s imagination to all kinds of possibilities.  Just as picture books target diverse audiences, so do wordless books.  There are board books made for the very littlest of hands as well as compelling adventures for teens and adults, and much variety in between!

Wordless books can be a great tool to use for increasing vocabulary and encouraging conversation with toddlers and preschoolers.  I love watching my two year old loudly and dramatically read to herself the stories she sees from the pictures.  For pre-literate kids, wordless books can help them get used to how a book works — things like holding it right side up, sequencing, figuring out where the beginning is as well as turning pages. In our house often times it is a new wordless book that gets chosen for the bedtime story — which is splendid because the time it takes to read a wordless book can be quite flexible.  I have the option of shortening the story if it is getting late, or engageing my kids in conversation about the details if we have lots of time.

Wordless books can also encourage independence for both preschool and school age kids as they don’t rely on strong literacy skills or an adult to read it to them.  They can inspire an interest in books for those who struggle with reading.  As a teacher, many of my students were immigrants who lacked English skills — some of them didn’t have any previous school experience as they had recently come to Canada directly from refugee camps.   I used illustration constantly as tried to teach them English and math.  For these students, wordless books offered a delightful break from the intimidation of the written word.

For literate kids, wordless books offer a fun opportunity to practice writing their own story adding their own details and twists to the illustrations provided.  For older kids the illustrations can be inspiring and imaginative in a way that can lead to creativity or simple pleasure. As a young adult I enjoyed looking at picture books and trying to learn from the artists’ techniques and styles.  I regularly got lost in the tiny children’s literature section of the university bookstore.  Now I have the luxury of only getting to look in the children’s section of the public library.

Here are some wordless books that we’ve enjoyed together:

Jack Wants A Snack

Book Review - Jack Wants A Snack


A lighthearted story of a preschooler who is having a serious tea party while a curious dog and a presumptuous chipmunk make attempts at snitching the snack.

Read the full review here.







Book Review - Moo!


A farmer decides to sell his car.  A cow sees an opportunity — a hilarious joyride.

Read the full review here.






Good Dog, Carl

Book Review - Good Dog, Carl


Jovial and surprising things happen when Carl, a gentle rottweiler, looks after the baby while mom is away.

Read the full review here.







This Is Not A Book

Book Review - This Is Not A Book

A unique board book that facilitates interactive, imaginative play through visual imagery that is designed to become almost anything — other than a book.

Read the full review here.






The Girl And The Bicycle

Book Review - The Girl And The Bicycle

Once she sees a bicycle in a shop window, a girl does everything she can to earn the money to buy it—only to find it sold when she finally has enough.  A heartwarming tale of perseverance and kindness.

Read the full review here.





The Boat

Book Review - the boat

A mouse trapped inside this book tries to chew his way out.  While chewing, he discovers the sea, makes a boat and sails away.

Read the full review here.






Book Review - Gem

One spring, a lone toad journeys around a garden and experiences the common joys and wonders, as well as dangers and fears that face a small gems such as him.  A story about gentleness and the delicacy of nature.

Read the full review here.






The Lion and The Mouse

Caldecott medalist, Jerry Pinkney’s amazing paintings retell Aesop’s famous fable of a lion who spares the life of a mouse and the mouse in return saves the lion’s life.

Read the full review here.







Book Review - Tuesday

In an ordinary American town, on Tuesday nights, extraordinary events occur—puzzling the townsfolk and police investigators.

Read the full review here.






The Red Book

Book Review - The Red Book

A unique and imaginative story about a special book lost in the snow, once found it takes the reader on a surprising journey toward friendship.

Read the full review here.


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